Kurdish Mountain Villages
Got up early for the trip to Howraman (or Ouraman), actually a region in Iranian Kurdistan on the border with Iraq. The highest village is Ouraman e Takht, my goal for today. It is a beautiful day with beautiful views. There are two routes to Ouraman, one old and one new. First I drive over the old one, a bad road through a rugged mountain landscape. But also a landscape that is changing enormously. An enormous dam is being built that changes the character of the region. Some villages are (partly) under water, other villages are cut off from water, riverbeds are moved, beautiful waterfalls have once disappeared, and so on. And it does not look like Kurdistan will benefit financially from this dam. I drive a bit past the village of Hajij and then return to the new road. A beautiful road that follows the border with Iraq and climbs higher and higher, with magnificent views far into Iraqi Kurdistan. Here too everything is completely quiet, there are no indications that people are worried that the fighting with the IS will take place hundreds of kilometres further on this side.
I enter the valley of Horwraman e Takht, a beautiful valley and a beautiful Kurdish village. At the edge of the village a centuries-old spiritual place, where still every year celebrations take place, which have nothing to do with islam. Lots of ribbons in trees, something you can find in other religions as well. I stroll through the village, am greeted by friendly Kurds and visit the mosque and bazaar.
Then I slowly drive out of the mountains to Marivan. Here a delicious lunch, fresh fish caught in the lake where Marivan is famous for. On the other side of the lake the border again.
On the way to Sanandaj I visit the mosque of Negel, where one of the oldest Korans in the world is located.
At dusk I look out from the Abidar mountain over Sanandaj, capital of Kurdistan.